Children's LiteratureThe theme color of surgical green appears throughout the pages of this book, decorating the borders, the back matter, and the title pages. It really sets the right mood for this subject matter. The book starts with Louis Pasteur's study of germs in the 1860s, which began the practice of doctors washing their hands before surgery. The book talks about how difficult it was to convince the doctors of the time that washing hands could save lives. Other chapters cover vaccines, antibiotics, anesthetics, x-rays, artificial limbs and a look into the future of medical inventions. Along the bottom of every page are important dates with an explanation of the special, medically- significant event that happened in that year. Nearly every page has a bright white fact box with bold red type. These fact boxes highlight additional information such as the definition of antibiotics or the fact that scientists use x-rays to discover what is inside the Egyptian mummies. The book is well designed and organized. The illustrations are a nice mix of old photos and etchings, x-rays, CT scans, and modern photographs. The picture of a patient's foot infected with a flesh-eating bacteria is particularly graphic. The back matter contains an index, a list of web sites, a bibliography, a glossary, and a time line showing the related events in medical history. This book is part of Twenty-First Century Books' "Major Inventions Through History" series, which also includes The History of Communication, The History of Energy, The History of Everyday Life, The History of Food, The History of Transportation, and The History of Weapons. 2006, Twenty-First Century Books, Ages 7 to 10.
Sally J. K. Davies